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May 2017 Archives

How a trust can be more useful than a will

For some people in New York who are creating an estate plan, a trust might be a better choice than a will. With a trust, the cost and time of probate can be avoided and assets can be passed directly to beneficiaries. In addition, a trust can help beneficiaries avoid estate tax.

The importance of letters of final wishes

New York residents often approach lawyers to draft trusts, wills and powers of attorney, but there is one estate planning document that they must write themselves. Letters of final wishes do not have any impact on how assets are distributed and they carry little weight in a courtroom, but they can provide family members and loved ones with much-needed clarity and comfort during a time of great stress.

Reviewing an estate plan with estate tax changes in mind

New York residents who have designed an estate plan to protect them from federal estate tax may wonder what changes will need to be made if it is repealed. For people who have large estates, reducing the value of the estate so the estate tax is lower or nonexistent is a major aspect of the plan.

Using a trust for funeral planning

One option for New York residents who are concerned about the cost of their funeral becoming a burden on their loved ones is a funeral trust. For people who have the ability to pay for long term care and are not concerned about costs near the end of their life, a funeral trust may be unnecessary. However, a revocable or irrevocable trust may provide peace of mind for others.

Planning for long-term care after retirement

Many aging New York residents are concerned about retirement planning. In addition to funding accounts and making arrangements to live out retirement in a comfortable community, the possibility of needing long-term care also presents significant issues.

What is a living will, and do your parents need one?

A living will is a document that describes a person's wishes for healthcare. It comes into effect when the individual cannot make or communicate these decisions on his own. Other advance directives can also help ensure your parents' wishes are complied with.